Fish Balls in Tomato Sauce

A spicy tomato sauce injects bright flavor into these fish balls, a North African Jewish delicacy. This recipe first appeared in our October 2011 issue along with Katie Robbins’s story Season of Rejoicing.

Fish Balls in Tomato Sauce Fish Balls in Tomato Sauce
A spicy tomato sauce injects bright flavor into these fish balls, a North African Jewish delicacy.
Yield: serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. ground cod or haddock
  • 12 cup matzo meal
  • 14 cup finely chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 12 tsp. ground coriander
  • 14 tsp. ground ginger
  • 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tbsp. canola oil
  • 3 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 2 cups fish or vegetable stock
  • 1 cup whole, peeled canned tomatoes with juice, crushed
  • 1 tsp. sugar, plus more to taste
  • 12 tsp. cayenne
  • 14 tsp. crushed red chile flakes
  • 14 tsp. ground allspice

Instructions

  1. Stir together fish, matzo meal, 3 tbsp. parsley, cumin, coriander, ginger, 2 cloves garlic, egg white, and salt and pepper in a bowl. Form into thirty-two 12-oz. balls; chill.
  2. Heat oil in a 4-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat. Add remaining garlic; cook until fragrant, about 45 seconds. Add tomato paste; cook, stirring, until caramelized, about 3 minutes. Add stock, tomatoes, sugar, cayenne, chile flakes, allspice, salt, and pepper; bring to a boil. Add fish balls, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook until balls are cooked through, about 20 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining parsley.